Church Mary Katherine Backstrom Love Lay-by Donated High School charity donation love kindnes - Informal Settlement Forum
Photo Credit: Supplied | On File

A Cape Town mom was given a beautiful Christmas gift from friends who are barely scraping by. A gift that reminded her what this season is really about… kindness and love.

 

Sarah Rose describes her husband, Marcus, as the kindest and most generous person she knows.

Always an advocate for the underdog, his friends include those people who are often invisible to society. The car guards at the Spar, the trinket sellers at Chapmans Peak, the refugees of Hout Bay, all know Marcus by name and it’s clear to her that they hold him in the highest regard.

“They say that you should stop to smell the roses, but my kind-hearted lion always stops to exchange friendship with people living on the margins.”

In a place that is often too harsh on those dwelling at the bottom, where people carry around their fear and prejudice like an albatross, it is all too easy to turn a blind eye and ignore the humanity in everyone around us.

“When we chose to have a child, we promised to raise a future generation that would have kindness, compassion and generosity to others. And with a father like Marcus as a role model, that would be a natural task.”

“But now that our first Christmas with our 7 month old daughter is upon us, the Christmas lesson on giving was taught to her, not by us, but by those who have so little to give.”

The couple in this picture are Alfred and his wife Grace. Marcus befriended them about a decade ago and the couple run into them from time to time. They came to South Africa from Zimbabwe when their own country could no longer sustain them.

christmas-lesson-on-giving

They live in Imizamo Yethu, a squalid squatter camp with very little infrastructure to sustain life.

They are trinket sellers, who ply their trade on Chapmans Peak and it is not uncommon that an entire day goes by when they do not make a single sale. They go home to see their family once every few years, provided that they can scrape enough money together to afford the 3 day journey.

And even then, only one goes at a time, as they can only afford the one ticket.

This year, like so many, they will not be home with their family for Christmas.

“I saw them on the road yesterday while out walking with my daughter. Alfred, in his distinctive red cap that he has worn for years, burst into a wide brimmed smile when he saw me and my little pink bundle coming towards him.”

It was the first time that they had met the new baby and they were bubbling over with joy and excitement upon meeting her.

“She looks just like Marcus!”, they exclaimed emphatically and greeted her with a volley of Baby Babble, the language all adults deploy when talking to a cherub.

“While bending down for a closer inspection, Alfred’s array of trinkets came within grabbing reach and my daughter’s grubby little fist clamped down on a Christmas tree.”

“Before I could give it back to him, he declared without hesitation that it was a gift for her, he then refused to accept my offer to pay for it.”

He insisted that she take it and Sarah kept insisting to pay for it…

“Had I not had my girl strapped to me, it might have come down to an arm wrestle, as both sides refused to give way. In the end, I managed to slip a note to Grace and joked with him that he should know by now not to argue with a woman.”

Here, you have a couple with so little to their name, who barely manage to scratch an existence, whose circumstance has denied them their own family at Christmas time, who live on the margins in a world so many of us cannot even fathom… and yet, without hesitation, they are still willing to give even when they have so very little to give.

“On our baby’s first Christmas, these kind souls taught her the valuable lesson that is far better to give than to receive.”

So when your belly is full from a delicious meal, the laughter of your family surrounds you, the wrapping paper from all your gifts lies discarded at your feet, please bear a thought for people like Alfred and Grace, whose riches are not in gold, but in kindness of heart.


Sources: Facebook
Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments or follow GoodThingsGuy on Facebook & Twitter to keep up to date with good news as it happens.
Click the link below to listen to the Good Things Guy Podcast, with Brent Lindeque – South Africa’s very own Good Things Guy. He’s on a mission to change what the world pays attention to and he truly believes that there’s good news all around us. In the Good Things Guy podcast, you’ll meet these everyday heroes & hear their incredible stories:

Or watch an episode of Good Things TV below, a show created to offer South Africans balance in a world with what feels like constant bad news. We’re here to remind you that there are still so many good things happening in South Africa & we’ll hopefully leave you feeling a little more proudly South African.

Facebook Comments

About the Author

Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *